Citizens Bank and Charter One regularly have checking account promotions with nice bonuses. Both are brand names of RBS Citizens, N.A. Citizens Bank branches are primarily located on the east coast and Charter One branches are located in the Midwestern states of Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. Charter One is currently listing a bonus of up to $175. I can’t find a similar one at Citizens Bank, but when I called Citizens Bank at 888-411-7442, the CSR told me that this same $175 bonus is available. (see update below) However, he said a new customer will need to visit a Citizens Bank branch to open the checking account. He wasn’t able to provide a webpage link. So if you live near a Citizens Bank branch, check with your local branch if you’re interested in this promotion. Below are the details that Charter One lists at its promotion page.
Update 5/10/13: A reader found the corresponding Citizens Bank $175 promo page at this Citizens Bank page (hat tip to the reader). All promo details appear to be the same.
The Charter One promotion requires that you open a new personal checking account by May 31, 2013. After you open your checking account, the following activities must post to and clear your new account by July 31, 2013:
- $50 for enrolling in Online Banking and make 3 online bill payments
- $50 for setting up Direct Deposit and completing a single direct deposit of $500 or more to your new checking account
- $50 when you do both of the above
- $25 after you qualify for online bill pay or direct deposit bonus, and you open a savings account with Steady Save and transfer at least $25. Enrollment in Steady Save must occur at account opening, and a Steady Save transaction of at least $25 must post and clear by 7/31/13.
Here’s some of the important small print:
Primary account holder may not be or have been a primary or secondary signer on any personal checking account within the previous six months.
Bonus will be deposited into your qualifying checking account by 10/31/13 and will be labeled as "Balance Builder Bonus." One bonus per customer. Bonus will be reported to the IRS.
Checking Account Details
One downside with Charter One and Citizens Bank is that the checking accounts have potential monthly fees. The one with the smallest fees is the Green Checking account which has a $9.99 monthly fee unless you maintain a $1,500 average daily balance or make 5 qualified payment transactions per statement period. I was told they can waive the monthly maintenance fee for customers 65 and older. In my 2012 post on a Citizens Bank promo, DA member Kaight commented that ACH debits pulled from his Alliant Credit Union account did qualify for these 5 qualifying payment transactions.
A reader commented in February that he received a hard pull when he opened an account. He also mentioned that he had to show a hardcopy of the promotion at the branch before they would pay the bonus. So if you do try this Charter One promo, make sure you make a printout of the Charter One promo page.
When you enter your information and email address at the Charter One promo page, the bank will email you a code and instructions. It will give you a choice to open online or at a branch. The online application requires that you enter your zip code. If you're zip code is outside of the bank's market area, you won't be allowed to continue.
Charter One branches are located in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
Citizens Bank branches are located in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Charter One and Citizens Bank are part of the $130 billion bank holding company, Citizens Financial Group, which is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. These banks operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in the Northeast and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
RBS Citizens, N.A. has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 8.00% (above average) based on December 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Citizens Bank for more details.
Other Bank Bonuses
We have a bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.